The second part of our blog continues on some of Britain’s best hiking trails; in part one we visited Wales, Northern Ireland and Cornwall and in part two we’ll visit Yorkshire, Scotland and Northumberland.
Leeds and Liverpool Canal – Yorkshire
Start – Skipton
The Leeds to Liverpool canal is the longest waterway of its kind in the north part of England. Linking the two big cities of Yorkshire and Lancashire, it was formerly a great trading route from the industrial hinterland to one of the biggest ports in the world. The walk in its entirety would cover 127 miles and pass over 91 locks, but the section of this walk is from Skipton to Saltaire – a sixteen-mile trek entirely in Yorkshire.
As you progress on the trail, there are reminders of the old industrial past, with disused factories and empty warehouses. Not the most scenic walk on our list, but still captivating as it takes you back into Britain’s old industrial past which helped formulate the British Empire.
Burns Trail – Ayrshire
Start – Alloway
Ayrshire is the famous birthplace of the renowned Scottish poet Rabbie Burns and Alloway is sacred to every Scotsman. Ayr is the town that Burns was born, but step just outside its boundaries and you are in open countryside.
A good tip before or after your hike is to visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and fill yourself full of Scottish culture. The start of this epic trail is on a series of country lanes and paths, then onto Newark Castle before venturing up into the splendid Carrick hills.
If you are lucky and the weather is clear, it is possible to see the magnificent Firth of Clyde from the hills. The return journey is along coastal paths which offer fantastic views and back close to the Brig o’Doon.
St Cuthbert’s Way – Northumberland
Start – Wooler
A fantastic eighteen-mile hike from Wooler to the historic Holy Island. Although this is a long walk, it is fairly easy and if you combine it with an overnight stay, you could even take the kids. The coastal locales are beautiful and offer great views, but most walkers that take this path do so to follow in the footsteps of the famous pilgrim St Cuthbert.
The route starts near the river Till and then passes through fields until it reaches St Cuthbert’s Cave which is a natural feature, supposedly where his dead body lay. Then you climb up to Greensheen Hill which opens up a fine vista of the choppy North Sea.
The historic trail then heads for Lindisfarne or Holy Island full of ancient religious artifacts and teeming with wildlife. Just be careful of the tides, as the island does get cut off during high tide and you will get stranded, but if you time it right then the causeway will be still visible and accessible.
This great historical walk ends our second part of the UK’s best hiking trails, in part three we lace up our boots once more and venture to East Sussex, Suffolk and Ross-Shire to enjoy more of the beautiful British countryside.